Courtesy of Donatello Restaurant, Guido & Gino Tiozzo.
Donatello’s Zuppa di Pesce (Traditional Fish Stew)
Every Italian who grew up near the sea shore, whether on the Adriatic or Tyrrhenian (Mediterranean) side of Italy, or one of its islands (Sicily, Sardinia, etc), has a preferred family recipe for a type of fish stew. Guido Tiozzo, Donatello’s owner, connoisseur, and consummate host and Old World professional and gentleman grew up in Venice (Venezia) on the Adriatic side of northeastern Italy, an area renowned for its seafood culture. If you ever go to Venice, be sure to try the local seafood, and if time permits, take a trip and visit the markets in nearby Chioggia. The Italian tradition of fresh and local is underscored when it comes to seafood! Guido brings this family recipe from his native Venice and has adapted it to what is fresh and local in Florida, to deliver an amazing dish full of flavor, steeped in tradition, as all of the dishes are at Donatello!
4 cloves garlic
4 oz. olive oil
2 3-4 oz portions of grouper and salmon (or your favorite fish)
4 large shrimp
4 large scallops
6-8 littleneck clams
Chopped ends of 2 leeks
Pulp of 2 large tomatoes
4-5 oz. white wine
6-8 oz. clam juice
3-4 oz. tomato sauce or purée
Sauté 4 coarsely chopped cloves garlic in olive oil. Add 2 chopped anchovies. Allow garlic to brown and anchovies to melt.
Add fish, then shrimp and scallops and then shellfish.
Add white wine.
Stir in clam juice chopped leeks, fresh tomato pulp and a little tomato sauce or purée all over med high heat.
Then cover and lower heat to medium low.
Allow to simmer 5 minutes.
Plate and Serve.
Donatello is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere! Owners Guido and son Gino Tiozzo bring authentic, Old World Venetian hospitality to Tampa, and have since 1984, creating a landmark where savvy diners have flocked for over 3 decades to indulge in some of the best Italian cuisine in America, combined with Old World service and an atmosphere that exudes romance! Enjoy this amazing recipe at home–it would be especially nice as part of a traditional Italian-American Christmas Eve, which is traditionally a seafood feast (the Vigilia di Natale or Feast of the Seven Fishes), but can be enjoyed anytime! The best part of any recipe and any cook or chef is the ability and willingness to experiment, to substitute depending on what is fresh, seasonal, and local where you are– have fun with it! And, whenever you are in Tampa, please visit my friends at Donatello, you will have a great time and meal, and be sure to tell Guido and Gino that I sent you, and Buon’ Appetito!
Fred Bollaci with Guido Tiozzo at Donatello.
232 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33607